A pathogenic role for splenic B1 cells in SIV disease progression in rhesus macaques

Gospel Enyindah-Asonye, Anthony Nwankwo, Christopher Hogge, Mohammad Arif Rahman, Sabrina Helmold Hait, Ruth Hunegnaw, Eun Ju Ko, Tanya Hoang, David J. Venzon, Marjorie Robert-Guroff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


B1 cells spontaneously produce protective natural antibodies which provide the first line of defense against a variety of pathogens. Although these natural antibodies share similar autoreactive features with several HIV-1 broadly neutralizing antibodies, the role of B1 cells in HIV/SIV disease progression is unknown. We report the presence of human-like B1 cells in rhesus macaques. During chronic SIV infection, we found that the frequency of splenic CD11b+ B1 cells positively correlated with plasma SIV viral load and exhausted T cells. Mechanistically, we discovered that splenic CD11b+ B1 cells express PD-L2 and IL-10, and were able to induce PD-1 upregulation on CD4+ T cells in vitro. These findings suggest that splenic CD11b+ B1 cells may contribute to the regulation of SIV plasma viral load by enhancing T cell exhaustion. Therefore, understanding the mechanisms that govern their function in rhesus macaques may lead to novel therapeutic strategies for impeding HIV/SIV disease progression.

Original languageEnglish
Article number511
JournalFrontiers in Immunology
Issue numberMAR
StatePublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • B1 cells
  • Exhaustion
  • Rhesus macaque
  • Simian immunodeficiency virus
  • T cells


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